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Meeting New Reception Class

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by parachute89, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. parachute89

    parachute89 New commenter

    Hi there, I'm currently teacher training and have recently secured a Reception post for September and am very excited to start.

    I am meeting the children and their parents in a 1 hour session in school in a couple of weeks and am very nervous! Is there anything I should prepare for this? What kind of things should I say? Is there anything in particular I should tell them, or is it simply introducing myself and meeting the little faces?

    A week after I will be meeting the children again for a 1 hour session but without parents- I'm very nervous as I'm worried a lot of children will be very upset about parent leaving! What kind of things can I do to console them if this is the case? I'm currently on placement in Reception but hardly any children have struggled leaving parent at the door, and if they have I just tend to give them a responsible job to do or give them a cuddle, but wasn't sure if I should do this on that day when I won't really know the children!

    Sorry, just very nervous! Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Nikkibell811

    Nikkibell811 New commenter


    Ideally you will be in the reception classroom which will be set up with continuous provision as always. Have some activities on all the tables (jigsaws, counting and number, markmaking, playdough, The children will then play in the room with their parents and you can mingle, interacting with the children and introducing yourself to parents. Be prepared for questions as there are always some about uniforms, lunches, routines etc. Its OK if you don't know the answers, just ask a TA who has been in the class before. You don't say if there is a parent 'meeting' where information is given (this may already have happened), so this session should just be a 'stay and play'. Try to talk to every child in the room at some point.

    The next time, - let the children come in and play again, so the parents leave while they are busy. Most will be OK. Hopefully you will have TA support to help with any with separation anxiety. Just try to engage quickly with anyone who looks a bit unsure. You may want to bring the children together towards the end of the session to read a short story or do some rhymes.

    Hope this helps - Good luck
  3. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    I agree with Yoda. Let the children and parents explore the classroom and toys, while you go round introducing yourself and answering any questions parents might have. Do find out what information parents have received already - schools often send out a 'welcome pack' (which they should be able to show to you), or they might have held a parents' information session (if so, whoever held the meeting will be able to tell you what was covered). Come together at the end for a short story or singing session, and end with "Lovely to meet you all, and looking forward to seeing the children again next week. Goodbye!" It's good to have a clear ending so parents know it's time to leave.

    For the next week, keep the format the same so the children know what to expect. Greet children with a sticker that says their name (very useful when the parent isn't there!), and explain to them that "Mummies and daddies are going to leave for a bit while we all play together. Then we'll have a story/sing some songs, and after that Mummy/Daddy will come back to take you home." Some children will be happy with that and some won't like the thought of their parent leaving, might cry or cling to Mummy.

    Some parents will handle a separation refusal well (with a last kiss and cuddle, confirming that they will come back after the story/singing, then leaving), some will be less secure and look to you for guidance, and some will want to try and hang around 'until' their child settles (who will keep crying every time Mummy tries to leave because knows that will make her stay). You should think through how you will handle these situations, and share this with your TA; perhaps you could ask for advice from your TA if he/she is more experienced. Will parents be allowed into the classroom to get a child interested in an activity, or do you want the separation to take place at the door? Be clear in your mind so that if a parent says, "Can I just come in and...", you know how to answer and aren't put on the spot.

    Once the parents have left, a child who is upset may be distracted by an interesting activity - perhaps prepare some unusual or interesting things to have out in clear view, as well as old favourites like cars and puzzles. Some children may benefit from a cuddle or to walk around with you holding your hand. Other children may prefer to be left alone - but of course keep an eye on them and try to engage them every so often.

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